[Published by the Cambodia Daily on June 2, 2016.]
While I agree with Kimberley McCosker and Gilles Nouzies (Cambodia Daily, May 30) that Cambodia should sign the convention against cluster bombs, much of their argument misses the point.
The 26 million sub-munitions dropped on Cambodia in the 1960s and ’70s would have been dropped even if the convention had been in existence and Cambodia had signed it. They were dropped by the United States government, which did not consider the wishes or the welfare of Cambodians.
The United States has not signed the convention. (Nor, according to Wikipedia, have China, Russia, Israel, India, Pakistan and Brazil. But at least those six, unlike the United States, do not assert the right to send armed drones to kill people in other countries whenever they feel like it.)
So yes, Cambodia’s signature might add a little moral pressure on the USA. But campaigning against cluster bombs would do better to focus on the real source of danger.